After an aggressive declaration the previous week, the students knew it would take a strong effort in the field to ensure victory. Wests commenced the day 0/18 chasing 258. Poor disciplines with both line and length meant the opening batsmen scored freely from the start of play. Without the ability to control the scoreboard, Wests quickly took the upper hand.
Malone was introduced in his first game back from injury and quickly accounted for Taylor, neatly caught by Cummins. A stroke of luck saw Wests slump to 2/62, as their English Pro was strangled down leg side. From that point it was one way traffic though. Wests showed an ability to play straight and pick off width when it was presented. Dropped catches and no-balls hurt the cause, but ultimately Wests outperformed the students in all three disciplines and romped to a 6 wicket win. There were some good signs with Malone bowling nicely on a lifeless track, but all in all a timely kick up the pants to remind the premiers that there are no free points in this competition.
Sydney Uni 8-257:
N Larkin 53, B Trevor-Jones 48, T Cummins 43
R McElduff 1-22, D Holloway 1-41
Sydney Uni 3-186 & 5-170:
S Hobson 105*, J Holloway 58
Wests 152 & 8-203:
L Neil-Smith 3-23, L McMahon 3-42
Day 2 saw the students arrive at Blick Oval in need of early wickets with only 180 remaining to defend. Some Friday rain left the square and outfield a tad moist, and the groundsman in particular was keen to delay the start to prevent damage to the square which would hamper his preparation of next week’s wicket. The umpires concurred, and we were faced with an hour’s delay, which was the maximum delay prior to losing time. This unfortunately meant that the already good pitch was able to harden up even further in the break, and any residual moisture was removed by the sun and wind. It would be sour grapes of me to suggest this had a significant bearing on the outcome of the match however, as the scores suggest we were soundly beaten.
The extended break did provide the highlight of the day (and probably the season thus far) – double or nothing Nash. Close followers of my previously published works (and indeed my person) will be aware that the youth have thus far been a basket of deplorables on the Nash field, much to captain R Danne’s dismay. This has prompted a barrage of abuse and condescension (mainly from old, but also certainly from young at themselves) and pre-match the youth were champing at the bit to exact revenge. Our first game was conducted prior to the delay, so there was no thought of holding back. Tatey was the standout, Robbo also had an excellent game and Danne was instrumental leading in midfield. This meant that the youth were much improved and old found ourselves in a genuine contest for the first time in many weeks. This brought out a forgotten creature, aggression’s Josh Toyer who was thundering around the park at will which created no small amount of terror amongst the youth. The other factor was Jimmy ‘5 dummies’ Ryan, who at one stage even fooled himself after dummying the entire young team with ball in hand. A late run through sealed the deal, and young were beaten but much better than the 5-2 score line suggested.
After being informed of the delay, it was a 40-min half time break and then on to round 2. Tatey again was excellent, Robbo brave when going shoulder to shoulder with Toyer (aka staring into the abyss) and Danne everywhere. Kevvy Jacob 10 times better than in previous weeks, and almost deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the above. Powys and Jim Ryan, however, were just too good, and old went out to an early lead and were never headed. 9-4 aggregate win to the old, and $6 for the youth.
On to the cricket and it proved to be an ultimately frustrating day. We bowled really well at times and created significant pressure only to have that pressure let off more often than not by a chancy boundary rather than a wicket. Wests applied themselves very well with the bat and No’s 1, 2 and 3 all posted significant scores and took the game away from us. Special mention to Tatey who was outstanding all of day 2 and day 1, bowling fast accurate pace with movement both ways on a placid pitch. He was the pick of the bowlers in the match and deserved much more than his 3 wickets suggest.
All in all a bad result but not something indicative of bigger problems. As I said after the game, we were probably at 70% across the park which wasn’t enough against a committed opposition who were much closer to 100% than we were. In context, that is only our second loss in 12 months, so clearly the Uni boys have demonstrated consistent form over a long time. Back to fortress Camperdown next week to take on the Hawks, which will present a tough challenge but I am confident we can rediscover our best form and get back into the points and the top 6.
Sydney Uni 244:
M Powys 91, J Ryan 45, K Jacob 39
K Tate 3-48
Overnight rain and sunny skies welcomed Sydney University back to Kensington Oval with spirits high and the boys in the hunt for a potential outright win following their convincing performance with the bat last week. Nash was a clinic in making less mistakes than your opponent as a fresh-faced Billy Barge took a complete air shot at a clearance allowing for Robbie Browne to clean up into an empty net and take the glory for the Julios.
Peak and Barge opened up with the (almost) new ball and it was Peak who got reward for his persistent line and length with a dollied catch to Thompson at short cover. Peak (1-21) bowled well; displaying great consistency and again can consider himself unlucky to have not snared a few more wickets on the day. The ball was passed around by the seamers, with Grant (2-13), Barge (2-23) and all round good bloke Canagasingham (3-10) sharing the spoils of some poor shot selection from Wests. Skipper Grant was careful not to overuse any one bowler; realising they would be needed later in the course of the day, and so it was left to Thompson (2-6) to clean up the tail and send the students into a much improved arvo tea hopeful of completing the rout after halfway,
No quicker were Wests back out facing the music than Billy Barge removed his man to complete a pair and a truly awful fortnight. It was Barge again with the new ball, this time catching his opposite man just below the knee roll and sending him for an early bath courtesy of possibly the quickest trigger ever witnessed. Wests now had the experienced duo of Stead and Cox at the crease and began to suck time and precious overs out of the contest, AJ shuffled the pack; rotating his seam options and searching for a combination able to build pressure against the ever more free-flowing Stead and local limpet Cox. It was Barge again who provided the breakthrough; trapping Cox adjacent and giving a new energy to Sydney University who had just started to drift in the field.
Thompson’s twirl was now into the attack and it wasn’t long before he removed the dangerous Swan with Uni now really looking to press home their advantage, Grant (1-4) removed another and when Canagasingham (2-17) removed the all important Stead (46) it looked like the Students could be in with a sniff of the outright. Unfortunately it was not to be, Thompson (3-31) and Barge (3-17) finished out a frustrating day for Sydney University who travel to Hawkesbury next week looking to go top of the table and continue their unbeaten start.
Sydney Uni 7-304:
AJ Grant 101*, B Dilley 76, A Peek 37
Wests 80 & 9-110:
B Barge 3-17, O Thompson 3-37, S Canagasingham 2-17
Sydney Uni 150:
A Bell 57, B Chunduri 14
M Miles 3-39, T Draca 2-12, Z Islam 2-28
Following the defiant finish from Sydney Uni’s lower order batsman (Ashwin Kirubanandan (59) and Jazz Rinka (49)) and a pole in the final over of Day 1 to Jazz, the lads were pumped up and ready to close out the match on Day 2, with still some 260 runs to play with.
Ashwin and Jazz combined beautifully on Day 2 with the new ball and put UNSW’s top order batsmen under all sorts of pressure. The pair demonstrated the value of bowling in partnerships, as Ashwin was miserly at his end (0-12 off 12 overs), whilst Jazz cashed in with 3 more wickets in his opening spell of the morning. A great bit of fielding also resulted in a runout and reduced UNSW to 5-32. A decent partnership in the middle order for UNSW would not be enough to get them back into the contest, as Jazz came back on to take his 5th wicket of the innings (5-40). Twin leggies Tim Synnott (1-37) and Shiv Pathak (2-8) then came on to finish off the tail, with UNSW folding for 114.
The clinical win for the Metro lads was especially pleasing given the side had 4 boys making their 6th Grade debut (Rakin Rahman, Tom Derrick, Ashwin Kirubanandan and Prasan Adikarige). The side heads north this Sunday to take on reigning premiers Gordon, who have once again made a strong start to this season, in what will be a top of the table clash.
Sydney Uni 263:
A Kirubanandan 59, J Rinka 49, M Harris 38
UNSW Gold 114:
J Rinka 5-40, S Pathak 2-8
SYDNEY UNI LIONS:
After a very wet Friday we got the word on Saturday morning that Waterloo was playable. The ground turned out to be surprisingly dry, and a lovely afternoon for cricket emerged. Nonetheless, the pitch was pretty green and there was a drying wind, so on calling correctly the skipper decided we should bowl first.
Mohammed Ghumman and Olly Ottosan opened the bowling steadily, and Olly was rewarded with an LBW in the sixth over. From there Paddo consolidated, losing only one more wicket to drinks (2-76 after 18). Shortly after drinks, Luca Demeglio, fresh from his morning school cricket, came on with his leggies and changed the game. Two wickets in his first over, and then wickets in his 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th overs. Our first ‘Michelle’ of the season, young Luca finished with 6.5-1-6-26. Including 3 stumpings, with Pieter Mees behind the stumps having the most fun he has had since his wedding night during the off-season, and a great running outfield catch by Nick Bowman. During that carnage, Olly came back on for a few more tidy overs at the other end, and another wicket, finishing with 10-0-2-43. Other wickets to Moorhouse and Jordan (1 each). Paddington all out for 155 in the 34th over. A great second session meant that we had a small score to chase on pocket-sized Waterloo.
We started slowly but steadily, 0-18 after 8. Then wickets, as first guest player De Carvalho (7), then Blayney (8), then Ghumman (2), all went quickly. 3-22 after 11. The change bowlers came on and Freeman and Jordan finally got some runs flowing. However, Freeman (8), and N Bowman (0) fell before drinks, and the Paddo total was looking pretty big at 5-48 at drinks. After drinks we kept up with the rate for a while, thanks to Pete Jordan, until Pete fell for a well made 42, the only batter to reach double figures. At the other end, Luca (3) had been stumped, and when Moorhouse (7) and Mees (4) fell in consecutive balls that was all she wrote. SU Lions were all out soon after for 97 in the 27th over. Very disappointing performance against a modest attack. But we still enjoyed a beer afterwards, and Olly went home happy and with the match ball.